Crazy Lines at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

There seemed to be no end to the lines at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale today!  I arrived this morning (right around 8:30) with the thought that even if I did have to wait in line, it wouldn’t be too long.  After all, the sale had just opened half an hour before my arrival.  I have also attended on previous years at that same time, never having much of a wait.

Wow – was I wrong!  The line outside was long, but it seemed to be moving at a good pace, so I took my place at the back and started chatting with the ladies who were waiting with me.  Here’s a picture I took while outside, but to be frank, it doesn’t even begin to tell the story.  To get a true picture, I would have needed to take an aerial shot!

Lines at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

Within an hour, we were walking in the front doors of the Coliseum, thinking it was time to do some shopping.  But no, it wasn’t time for shopping – it was time for more waiting.

We had to go upstairs to the hallway that surrounds the arena, and there the line stopped moving.  We waited there for what seemed like an eternity, although it was actually a little more than an hour.  However, with the poor lighting, confined space, and the noise in the hall, I soon had a splitting headache.  I had packed light too, forgetting to put the ibuprofen in my Hipster.  So, my first words of wisdom – along with a fair amount of patience, don’t forget any meds you need (or may need)!

Finally, the line started moving, and a cheer went up in the hall.  Everyone started slowly moving forward, and within minutes we were downstairs, entering the doors to the sale – finally!  I looked at my watch.  The time was 11:30 a.m. – I had waited 2-1/2 hours.

I’m sure the people who arrived after me had an even longer wait.  When I left today, the line to get in was even longer.  It went around the front of the Coliseum, down the side, and then snaked between the cars on the Parnell side of the parking lot.  It then wrapped back around the front of the Coliseum, and shot straight back, with the end out somewhere near the old Wizards stadium.  Crazy!

Well, enough about waiting in lines – let’s talk about the sale…

Friday Markdowns at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

Not too many additional markdowns had been taken yet.  In the past, when I attended on Friday, usually everything had been marked down at least once, sometimes twice.  But this year, only a handful of items had been reduced.  Here are some of the markdowns that had been taken:

Gabby: $15 (originally $23)
Handbag: $19 (originally $14)
Hannah: $8 (originally $12)
Libby: $14 (originally $19)
Maggie: $9 (originally $15
Morgan: $14 (originally $23)
Olivia: $10 (originally $15)
Saddle Up: $25 (originally $35)
Stephanie: $29 (originally $39)

Selection at the Sale

When you wait in line that long, you begin to wonder if anything good will be left!  However, the selection today was decent.  Personally, I really wished I had been able to go yesterday, when I’m sure it would have been even better.

If there was one pattern I saw the most, it was Puccini.  There was also a lot of Yellow Bird, Raspberry Fizz, Cupcakes Green and Cupcakes Pink, and Riviera Blue left.  In addition, there were a couple of tables with Frill and Nylon handbags.  There was some microfiber left, but not much.  I was actually hoping to pick up several pieces in the Caffe Latte pattern, but there wasn’t much left, and current patterns were virtually non-existent, although once in awhile I would catch a glimpse of Imperial Toile, Symphony in Hue and Paprika.

Checking Out at the 2010 Vera Bradley Outlet Sale

I won’t once again bore you with stories about the lines at the sale, but once again, the checkout line was longer than anything I had ever seen.  It extended back into the exposition center, where all the merchandise is located.  In fact, they were discouraging people from sorting through their items on the floor, because they needed that space for people waiting to checkout.

I don’t think it took as long to checkout, but it did take some time.  However, I have to give kudos to everyone working at the sale.  They do a great job under difficult circumstances.  If you do go to the sale, please be courteous to them, and not only that, thank them for their patience in dealing with all of us crazy Vera Bradley shoppers!

Has the Sale Outgrown Its Venue?

I have one more final thought for today, and I know this is getting long-winded!  However, did you know that the very first Vera Bradley Outlet Sales were held in a 10 x 10 tent?  Obviously, they have outgrown that venue, but I can’t help but wonder if maybe they have outgrown this venue too.  I’m not sure if they could utilize additional space within the Coliseum, or perhaps find another location for the sale, but based on last year’s and this year’s record turnouts (and the crazy lines!), I think it’s time they start looking into alternative locations.  Just my two cents!  I still love the sale, and feel very lucky to have attended it this year.

So, now it’s your turn!  Did you go to the sale today,a nd if so, what did you think about it?

Comments

  1. Another first! I just saw on Vera Bradley’s twitter feed that they are closing the doors for today (Friday) early. The sale was supposed to be open until 8:00, but they are shutting it down at 5:00 today!

    http://twitter.com/verabradley

  2. They better offer the people who got turned away today something free, or a coupon. There’s got to be a lot of angry people!

    I went yesterday and got there at about 10 and waited in line for 2 hours to get in the building. It went pretty fast though, chatting with the people in line next to us. Even waiting in line was kind of fun! You have time to scope out what you want if you’re lucky enough to get a price list! We shopped for a few hours then it took about an hour to check out.

    There was a lot of cupcakes green, rasberry fizz, puccini, & mediterranean blue. Also seen some pinwheel pink, mediterranean white, cupcakes pink, mod floral blue and pink, night owl, and calypso. That’s all that’s sticking in my head right now. Hipsters went fast!

    Tee shirts were $1 yesterday and PJ pants $5. Sizes mostly limited to xs, s, m, and some l and xl.

    All in all, a great day and deals even though we had to wait!

  3. As much as I love Vera Bradley I can not wait in line that long.

  4. I am so frustrated! My friends and I went today at 3:00. It was a 3 hour wait in line and then 2 hour wait to check out. We didn’t stay. That’s 5 hours and still no shopping. This weekend will be too busy to go, too. I’m out $5 registration fee and $4 parking. Shame on you Vera! This is not right!

  5. I am very angry! I went today so I could use my coupon! And then couldn’t get in! I can’t imagine the lines Saturday and Sunday. Everyone knows there will be more markdowns, so the lines get longer!!! This is getting out of hand! Something needs to be done!

  6. I agree. We came with 15 persons from southern Ohio. 3+ hour drive. When we arrived this AM, the line was clear back to the old ballpark. Same 3 hour wait to get in and 2+ to check out. Had several “seniors” with us. We left. We also lost our presegistration and parking $. Never seen it like this before. Have been coming for several years. I believe limiting the number of persons registering and attending on a particular day was much better like they did in previous years. We saw many people leave. Very dissapointed. We did some other shopping and the rest are on their way back to southern Ohio without Vera Bradley.

  7. This was my first year going. My friend and I drove from MI, @2.5 hours. We did not pre-register. (actually by the time I remembered it was to late, a good thing I guess, as I would be out that as well) Paid the $4 for parking, not to mention gas money, and money for a sitter. We got there @10:20, waited @2 hours, to finally get to SEE the sidewalk that led to the doors into the coliseum, just to find out we were still FAR from even entering the blasted sale. We left, along with many other people. Not worth any more of my time and mostly my hard earned money. Shame on you VERA!!! I think maybe you should be able to pre-register, pick the day you want to go to, and here is a concept, be able to get in…..

  8. I feel horrible for the people who drove all that way and did not get in, what a shame. Fortunately, my sis and I got there at 7:15am and were in shopping by 9:15am….we were done shopping and checked by 10:30am. All in all it was a good experience for us. The bargains were not as good as other years but I am just so thankful that Vera Bradley puts on the sale. Better luck tomorrow!

  9. I am headed to Ft. Wayne tomorow (Sat.) hope to get in to shop and get some good deals, your notes are very discouraging though guess we may re-think this trip next year if it turns out bad. Tomorrow is suppose to rain, will that many people wait in line outside? I won’t!!

  10. This was my first year as well, & my friend & I had heard many stories about Thursday, & how long the lines were from people who got there shortly after 8:00am. They said it was still a 2 hour wait to get into the Coliseum, & another 1-2 hour once you got up to the Coliseum door. Since we were planning on going on Friday, we decided to adjust our departure time to get there at 7:00am, leaving at 5:30am. That was the smartest thing we could have done. There were no lines in the parking lot, we walked right into the Coliseum, & waited from 7:15-8:45 before we got in to shop. There were people that had been there earlier than that, as we were on the top level & they were on the bottom level, & the line snaked all the way through. We shopped for three hours, & when we left, it was unbelieveable at the amount of people outside waiting to get in. We went to the mall, & when we left town at 3:30, we went past the Coliseum, & the lines were still just as long. It was a successful day for us, but the key is to get there no later than 7:0am. If they have it next year, we will be leaving earlier. Good Luck!

    • My heart goes out to everyone who had a bad experience today and on Thursday. This is the first year I have experienced any of these types of waits, although last year there were a few reports of long lines. Nothing to this extent though. I really believe there will be significant changes made and implemented for next year’s sale (which is scheduled for the week of May 2, 2011). I’m not affiliated with the company (just love their products and have been blogging about the sale over the last few years), so I have no ideas what those changes will be. However, it’s obvious this year was a fiasco.

      When I left the sale early this afternoon, the announcers on 95.1 (local radio station that reports from the sale) were discouraging people from going today. Usually, companies advertise to bring in business, but Vera Bradley was basically paying to tell people to go away. Then they had to cut off the line at 4:30 this afternoon. I’m sure they didn’t want to do this, but it would have been even worse for them to turn away customers who had waited many hours in line, because it was time to close down. Although my first reaction was “why can’t they just stay open later”, after thinking about it, they are probably subject to rules of the Memorial Coliseum, not to mention that many of the workers needed to go home to get some rest before the doors open again tomorrow.

      To put it simply, the sale got out of their control. I don’t think they will let it happen again. They have always had a very organized sale, and as it has grown, they have added additional checkouts, etc. Over the past two years, this sale has had a huge growth spurt – anyone who has attended regularly over the past years will tell you that. If they don’t make the necessary changes and we see a repeat of this fiasco next year, I won’t be so quick to come to their defense. However, I have been a fan for a long time – and knowing what I do about them, I would be really surprised if they put their customers through this again.

      Of course, I know this doesn’t change the fact that many of you had terrible experiences today, traveling for hours, paying registration and parking fees, and then leaving empty-handed. The whole time I was waiting in line, I was thanking God (and Grandma) that I didn’t have my five year old son with me. It was frustrating for me, and I didn’t go through even half of what some of you went through. At this point, I just hope Saturday and Sunday are better. I think I’m done for this year, but for everyone else that are giving it another try, good luck – and let us know how it goes…

  11. Angela says:

    So sorry to those of you who had so much aggravation, it really shouldn’t be that way. I was planning on going this weekend, but after reading all your comments and the HUNDREDS of angry comments on facebook, I’m def. going to pass. What upsets me are the comments of people saying they waited all those hrs to shop and checkout (only to find a limited selection) and they actually HEARD people in the checkout line who were buying STACKS of the same product talking about “doubling their $” on ebay. It seems like these people are the problem, hoarding all the coveted products and not even using it for themselves, making a profit off of Vera’s outlet sale, and sitting and sorting for hrs at the sale keeping the true fans of Vera outside in the heat. That sickens and saddens me, everyone should get a chance to shop and have a good selection. There needs to be limits set on each item, and lower the total limit too maybe to $1000. (Even if I bought purses AND wallets for everyone on my Christmas list, I still wouldn’t hit that limit). Anyway, I would love to go to the sale one of these years, but not under such horrific circumstances. I hope they can realize what’s going on with these greedy people and set some new rules.

  12. Johnie says:

    We arrived yesterday(Friday) about 5:10 p.m. The gaurd at the parking shack told us there was a “3 hour wait”. Most people were doing a u-turn adn leaving. We decided to stick it out. To our amazement we parked very close to the door. And walked right into the sale! Absolutely no wait. The wait to check out was 3 hours long. So we shopped for 2 hours and waited only an hour to check out. All in all not bad. I cannot imagine how people must feel about being turned away or leaving empty handed after hours of waiting. So awful. Hopefully there will be changes for next year. I would love to go back tonight or Sunday morning, but don’t know if I should try it. Good luck to those that do!

  13. How did you get in the sale at 5:10 when they shut the line down at 4:30?

  14. Hi! I went to the sale this morning, I arrived about 6:00 and the line was already down the sidewalk so I got out in the rain with my dear son who offered to help ( God love him ) and we stood in the rain for probably half an hour before we got inside. Some of the people said they had arrived at 4:30 and I heard reports that the earlier than me people stood in the lighting with their umbrellas before we got there, crazy.

    We did it right getting there when we did though, got in, got what we wanted pretty quickly and checked out so we were back on the road before 9:30 and beat all the checkout crowd too.

    Some of the bargains that I got were –

    Classic Handbags 10.00
    Eyeglass Cases 2.00
    Readers Cases 1.00
    Gabby Bags 12.00
    Hannah 5.00
    Libby 9.00
    Garment Bags 39.00
    Tall Totes 19.00
    Agenda 1.00
    Mini Zip Wallets 6.00
    Lola 10.00
    Tiki Clutch 12.00

    Many of the bags were not reduced today, I would guess because they are trying to have enough to last through tomorrow. I plan to go back tomorrow and see what is going on, lol. I just can’t stay away.

    When we left there was a HUGE line like yesterday through the parking lot, I would imagine there will be an early shut down today too, we’ll see.

    If you went I hope you had fun, we did!

    :-) Debbie

    • Thanks for the updates Debbie! Those look like some good prices. I know what you mean about not being able to stay away – I told myself that I was not going any more this year, but it’s getting hard to stick to that promise. About an hour ago, Vera Bradley posted on their Twitter feed that there was no wait to get in. I’m definitely tempted!

  15. Angela, anytime you have a warehouse/ clearance sale like that you will see re-sellers everywhere. It is how they get their inventory. They aren’t bad people or greedy, that is just how they make a paycheck, just like others go to a job and make a paycheck. You have just as much chance as they do of getting what you want so I would just go if I were you. Don’t let that keep you away, they can’t take everything! :-)

  16. Don’t know. Didn’t hear that the sale was closed down at 4:30 until today. They must have reduced the crowd and reopened just before we arrived!

  17. We arrived at 7:30am this morning. Waited in line, which seem to move as we visited with our line neighbors. When we got to the doors, we thought we would be going in, but they lined us up inside again. It was 9am, when we got into the sale. Saw puccini in alot of things.
    The line to check out was long, but moved there too. It took 45min to check out. It was fun to see what everyone was buying and also people sorted along the way there, too. So you might see something you wanted, but couldn’t find the color, etc. before.
    This was my first time. I will go back. It was an good experience for us. The line was still very long, when we came out.

  18. This was my first time to the sale. My 2 daughters and I drove for 4 hrs from NE Ohio, stood in line for 3 hrs to get in. We were really excited to shop but what a disappointment!! We were through the entire sale in less than 30 mins because most of the tables were empty and the items that were available were mostly puccini pattern, which obviously wasn’t a good seller since there was so much of it at this sale.
    We were told by people leaving the sale that it was really picked over and that they were told it would not be restocked because they had to save stock for Sat & Sun!!! I have never heard of such a thing!!! If you have hundreds (thousands) of people there to buy then you should be restocking the tables as quickly as possible.
    We each had a few items that we were going to buy but nothing that we were really excited about. We decided that it wasn’t worth standing in line for another 2 hrs to buy items that we weren’t truly happy with, just going to buy because of the time spent to get in. I am very proud of the 3 of us because we put our bags in the bin and left empty handed and saved our money. We still love Vera Bradley products but we will NEVER return to this sale.
    There are several other things that need to be changed!! The people sitting on the floor blocking the flow of traffic should not be permitted. Also, I think there should be a limit of $500-1000 and then more people would be able to make purchases. I think it is very disturbing that people have traveled for hours or for that matter days (license plates were seen from Fla, Wisconsin, Tenn, etc) and then were disappointed or even turned away. That is not good business practice.

  19. Georgia Wilson says:

    I agree with what Dawn says about the fact that perhaps the sale has outgrown the venue. For safety reasons they will probably have to do several things differently next year. One observation was safety in the line waiting in the parking lot. There were children in attendance with their mothers and thus many toddlers playing while waiting. My fear was that one might get hit by a car of a shopper leaving or coming in to park. With the line so huge, snaking for miles around the building there really was cars mixing with standing pedestrians (always an accident waiting for a place to happen). Secondly, there could have been collapses due to heat on Friday or lightening strike on Saturday. People who have driven great distances to come to the sale are unlikely to give up a spot in the line after having gone partway, even if that means heat exhaustion or the occcurance of inclement weather.

    I would also agree that there will probably be a great many complaints about having to shut the line down at 3:30pm on Friday. I spoke to people who had driven 3-8 hours, having planned the trip LAST YEAR! Although the sale is a privelege and not a right, it is my belief that if the advertised and published hours were listed 8am-8pm, they should have honored that in some way. I would suspect that this event is a HUGE money maker, even with the degree of markdowns, for the Vera Bradley Corporation what with the $5 registration and the volume of sales generated in such a short time. I also noted that a number of local churches and other organizations donated volunteers for the event and then the corporation then donated to the charitable organization. If you consider that there were estimated 10,000 people per day times the entrance fee and lets say an range of $100-$2500 per person sales the income generated could have reached $1.05-25.05 MILLION per day!!! Over the four day period, that equates to $4 million – $100 million! I guarantee that more than compensates for the difficulties in holding the event and pretty much guarantees that it will return in some manner in the future. So, yes, I suspect in order to maintain the customer appeal, the company will want to make some plans for better crowd control and safety as well as maintain fairness and quality of product received to those who make the effort to be a valued customer. I myself drove down from the Detroit region and felt with patience and the right attitude, I did in fact enjoy the challenge of shopping for a bargain. I actually enjoyed meeting people inside and outside and tried to plan ahead for the unexpected.

  20. We were at the Vera sale on Friday. We arrived at 7:oo and were in line for about an hour before we got in. By the time we left , around 10;30,the line was snaked all through the parking lot. We were lucky. Friends of ours were not. They could not go until later and it was so bad they just left. I think maybe a summer, winter, spring, and fall sale would help the problem. One sale for something so popular is just not enough. The lines have proved this. My fear is someone is going to get hurt. Vera needs to rethink the sale.

  21. I went on Thursday with my mother and 2 sisters. This was our 4th sale and we couldn’t believe the line outside the stadium. We arrived aound 7:30 as we always had but had to wait a couple hours to even get in the building. There were people inside were pushing and shoving and some even fighting over some of the merchandise. It was unbeliveable! And the kids! I couldn’t belive how many small children were there – the youngest was 11 days old! Not exactly the best place to take a baby espcially with the pusing and shoving! In the past there were carts and bins to put discarded merchandise in but not as many this year. So instead of finding a cart or bin or putting something back where they had found it (what a concept!) people were dumping merchandise on the floor. There were also alot of people blocking the aisles sorting thru their merchandise (which they also left all over the floor!). I felt so sorry for the staff. I always tried to take back things I had decided not to get back to where I had found it and the people waiting for those patterns were so grateful. The whole day wasn’t wasted though, we met some really great people who offered to find patterns we were looking for (and we did the same) and one gracious lady even gave up a Frankly Scarlet small duffel I was looking for because someone had given up something to her that she had really wanted. I guess when you go to this sale you have to take the good with the bad but I really think the sale was badly organized this year and hope they work out the problems next year (Yes I’ll be there!!!!) Also I heard that this might be the last year for the sale due the expansion of the outlet store. Hope this is just a rumor!!!

  22. I havn’t heard anyone complain about their sunburn yet… It never occured to me to cover myself in sunscreen like I was waiting for a ride at Disney World…I guess even there they have timed tickets ..
    I have been to the sale many times… I always saved one spring personal day for a get away day with old friends…. I always had a great time…. There wasn’t anything pleasant about this experience… Still burning in Indy…

  23. THE LINES WERE A NIGHTMARE TO GET INTO THE COLISEUM AND THEN AGAIN FOR CHECK-OUT. THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH MERCHANDISE OR SELECTION. COMPLAINTS TOO NUMEROUS TO MENTION….ANGRY AND DISAPPOINTED,WILL NEVER GO BACK!

  24. We went on Thursday afternoon. Got there around 2:30 and got in line. Line kept moving very quickly and we were in the sale withing 15 minutes. Shopped (prices were not as discounted as I expected, but this was first day of sale). I did fine some current patters – got a bucket tote in Pirouette and small change purse in purple punch! Wait to pay was about 1.5 hours though. All in all, a good experience! Just need to time your trip right (we got lucky!) I guess. Would love to know what the prices are on Sunday and what the selection is like though!

  25. Camille says:

    We went there and drove 2 and a half hours. We left Friday afternoon and were planning to go to the sale once we got the Fort Wayne (we got there at about 4:00) only to find out that they were closed. We were a little dissapionted, but we just made plans to come really early Saturday morning. We checked into our hotel and went to bed early, then we got up at around 5:00 am. We ate and we arived at the sale around 6:30. I am soooooooooo glad we were able to get there early!! We waited in line until the sale opened at 8:00 then we got into the sale. Holy cow, it was packed!! I have never seen that many people in one place in my entire life! What really discouraged me was that by the time we got in, almost all the pretty super totes (the Imperial Toile, it’s my favorite print) were gone! The only ones they had left were the super totes in puccini, and those were even going fast! People were fighting over them!! I searched and searched to find some bags in Imperial Toile, and got lucky and found a hanging organizer in that print, I had to fight someone off of it though! My sister found a Maggie bag in it and she was chased all over the place by a adult! That is just ridiculous! I was hoping to find some bags in Java Blue but was dissapointed when I didn’t. I did find a really pretty purse in Pinwheel Pink which was the last of it’s print there. All in all, I had a great time and got about 12 new bags! I’ll go again next year! The key is to wake up and be there REALLY early so you are one of the first ones in and beat the check-out line. We have already planned how we are going to be the first ones in next year! But I’m not giving away my strategy! :)

  26. Debbie says:

    I went back to the sale again today. We got there about 7:30 as the doors opened at 10:00. Allot of people were already there but we got in the building ( out of the rain ). By the time they opened the sale the line was across the lot again like yesterday but by the time I left everyone was inside so it really moved quickly! There were some additional markdowns but not like in the past. I think allot of people were disappointed about that, especially resellers. Many items remained the price on the price stand or the price from yesterday. Maybe because they had already sold so much? I still picked up allot and was very happy that I went back out.

    Thank you Vera Bradley for a great sale!

    I hope everyone had as much fun as we did! :-)

  27. Nancy Bowen says:

    My sister and I went to the sale on Thursday, our firt time there. We got there about 10:20am not thinking we would have to stand outside in line, well.. we stood in line for over 2hours and when we finally got inside it was chaotic with people everywhere, we were trying to stay together, there were people sitting on the floor all around the room. I thought the people on the floor were waiting in the checkout line but was wrong as they were there sorting thru their bags for wanted and unwanted items. We also stood in the checkout line for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. We thought the selection wasn’t that great, we wanted Hipsters but there were none left, the only current pattern was Cupcakes pink and green. We did manage to pick up some purses and wallets but not actually the patterns and styles we wanted, most there were the older, retired patterns. It was an adventure and I am glad we came (with the exception of having purchased a tote with a snap closure missing, not sure how I will fix it) but I doubt that we will ever go again. Just to wild and wooly for us.

  28. This was my second year to the sale and I agree that something must be done. Last year we went on the first day, got there as the doors were opening and waited maybe an hour. This year we went on the third day, got in line about 7:15 and in the doors arond 9.

    There were a couple of changes that they had made since last year. One thing that I didn’t agree with was the people that hadn’t pre-registered got in the sale the same time as the ones who pre-registered. Last year as you entered the coliseum if you hadn’t yet registered you did that before you did anything else. Another thing that might help control the crowd is when you “pre”-register you pick a day that you are going to come and that is the ONLY day you are allowed to come. They could even have time frames to select. I heard they had the fire marshal there every day to make sure there weren’t too many people in building. There will be something done. It’s kind of frustrating standing in line for 3 hours knowing that it’s someones third day at the sale. They could make Sunday the day to go back for seconds.

  29. This was my first time and I drove from Minneapolis/ St Paul – 548 miles – to meet up with relatives from Michigan and Fort Wayne for this sale. I love the product, but no sale or discount was worth what I experienced. We arrived about 9:15 for the sale on Friday. We had all pre-registered, but still had to wait in the line which moved nicely for about 45 minutes, then came to a dead stop for 2 hours. Still not in the door….word was there was another 3 hour wait in once you got into the door. Then another to check out. Standing there thinking, no sale is worth this……..I was getting hungry, dehydrated, sunburn, and a headache. I am sure I wouldn’t have lasted that time length. The others I was with gave up, I stuck it out a bit longer, before I gave up.
    I am very disappointed and will not do this EVER again. plus I am out the $5 dollar entrance fee I paid. Do you think I can get that refunded ? Or at least a credit towards a purchase I might make ?
    TERRIBLE PLAN —– need a better solution for this sale. !!!

  30. My daughter and I drove to the sale from Pittsburgh. We were very disappointed in the long wait and poor selections of patterns and styles. I expected so much more based on what I had read about the past sales. We will never come to the sale again. I think the sales offered on the website are better because at least the selection of patterns is larger.

  31. Maryann says:

    I talked my husband into taking the day off on Friday so we could spend our usual $1,000.00 or so on gifts for the year. We drove in from Michigan, arrived at 9:30, waited 2 hrs. in the parking lot, heard we still had several hrs. before we’d hit the sales floor, and left. I also heard about the rude behavior inside, which I find appalling. In past years, people were very nice. I’m planning to shop online even though the prices are higher-I’ll just be buying fewer items and waiting until the patterns I like are greatly reduced.
    I agree that the old way was better. People shouldn’t be allowed to come back day after day, and perhaps there should be limits on how many items per pattern they can buy. Of course, if people didn’t buy the merchandise on Ebay and other online sources, the people selling it this way would stop buying so much at the sale.
    I feel especially bad for the people who worked this sale. I know they worked very hard, and I’m sure they stayed cheerful in a very difficult situation.

  32. Teresa from Dayton says:

    This was my second year to attend the sale, I came with 3 ladies that had not attended the sale in the past. We all came to the conclusion we would not make the 2 1/2 trip again. Here is why…the lines were terrible. We got there at 8:40 and waited in the outside side line for 2 hours and in the inside line (not moving) for another hour. Finally got in the sale to find the selection very poor and not discounted as much as in the past. We waited in line to pay for another 2 hours. Last year I bought a diaper bag for $35.00, this year $69.00. Last year I bought several large totes for $10.00, this year $39.00. In 2009, I bought make up bags for $3.00, 2010 same bags $12.00. I thougth the pricing would have been better than before, since the bags are now being made outside the US!! Last year there seemed to be more people involved in stocking and filling the empty tables. Also, a line for small orders would be a good idea. This sale needs work…the 2010 sale at some point seemed a little dangerous to me, I found myself looking for the exits. Hey Vera, fix this mess before someone gets hurt.

  33. Becky D says:

    Have come from Ann Arbor, MI for several years for the outlet sale, combining it with a vacation visiting relatives in South Bend, and time at Shipshewana. Lines before this year have always been long, but we arrived Friday morning about 11am and saw people standing in the parking lot. Decided to come back after dinner and did get in at 7:15pm without waiting. However, spent nearly 2 hours in the checkout line. Absolutely love Vera Bradley products but this will be my last outlet sale until the company either starts limiting customers to a sane number, or staging the sale in a larger venue. We’re veterans of many festivals in Northern Michigan, and unfortunately what starts out as a nice event tends to morph into a nightmare for everyone.

  34. Jane says:
    May 7, 2010 at 11:15 am

    FYI…We traveled over ten hours (4 states away) to attend the outlet sale on Saturday. Waited 2.5 hours in line and got in to find that many of the items were sold out and others only available in one fabric that apparently no one wanted (Puccini) Talked to a Vera employee who said they were sorry but were overwhelmed by the response. Markdowns were minimal…at most 50%, but many things not even that. Went to the checkout line and took another 1.5 hours to check out. Came outside and saw the long line still winding around the entire parking lot. Heard later that some people waited in line for 6.5 hours that day only to have the whole thing close down before they got in. While sometimes things like that can be considered a “fun experience”, I really think the Vera company messed up and should reexamine their plan. Pre registration numbers should have clued them in as to how many people would be coming. Preregistering should have given customers a specific hour to shop on a specific day, and limit the number of people there at any given time to adhere to fire codes. They should have continued to put items out all day, every few hours, instead of allowing greedy people to get all the great selections. Sleeping in the parking lot, waiting in line for hours to see a two hour, one-time concert is not the same as a four day multi-million dollar outlet sale. If they have that much product, they can distribute it more evenly over the days to give everyone a little enjoyment. However, if all they are doing is trying to make a buck and they don’t care about their customers….well, I’d say it was a grand success!

  35. ineedhelp says:

    i need help plzz how many vera bradley’s have been sold ever? i need it its homework for me!! and btw ive waited that long before over 13,000 ppl were there and i waited /w my boyfriend(he took me there for my b-day)and it was 7and a half hours lol.we stayed but then they closed for a day WOW WTF my boyfriend ended staying (poor him).i went home i cant take it anymore i have it now looking at it……………………………… SO WORTH IT!!!!!

  36. Vicki Daugherty says:

    Is it possible to bring a group to Fort Wayne and shop at the factory during the year? Or is the sale the only time sales are allowed at the factory?

    As minister to older adults at a church in Louisville KY, I would like to bring a bus of my ladies up to shop, but obviously not at the spring sale. Is there any other way? Thanks, Vicki

    • Hi Vicki,

      If I were you, I would contact the Vera Bradley customer support department at (888) 855-8372. I had asked a couple years back if they gave tours, and at that time, the answer was no. The outlet sale is only once a year, and it’s not at their factory, but is off-site at the Allen County Memorial Coliseum. There are outlet stores open year round in Chicago, Illinois, and in Wrentham, Massachusetts. Visiting one of those locations may be a fun bus trip, and the ladies could also shop at the other outlet stores located nearby. Hope that helps!

  37. I would like to say that while you were waiting in line thinking about plush purses etc. there were little animals waiting at the animal shelter to be euthanized. How about we stop thinking of me me me and thing of all the other things in the world that need attention.

  38. shady greene says:

    Patricia, you are very rude and judemental.

    just so you know……….100% of the proceeds, yes 100% goes to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH. now you may choose to make your charitable contributions to the animal shelter, but others choose to donate to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH. some day YOU or one of your loved ones, if you have any may benefit from that research and thankfully there are people like the one you b!ched at who went to the sale and spent money that went to that research!

  39. shady greene says:

    Vera Bradley makes no money on the sale of the items or the $5.00 reg fee.

    100% of the proceeds go to BREAST CANCER RESEARCH. 100% which at some time in your life, you or a family member may benefit from.

    IT IS NOT VB’S FAULT that fire code says X amount of people can be in the building at one time.

    TAKE IT UP WITH ALLEN CO AND GET OFF VERA BRADLEY’S BACK.